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Making a Difference

When St. John’s School received an unsolicited $75,000 gift to the Headmaster’s Student Assistance Fund from the estate of John “Jack” Beebe ’60, former Chief Advancement Officer Mark Dini was elated. Although after Jack left SJS he was not actively engaged with the SJS community, he clearly stayed connected to his classmates and the School.
When St. John’s School received an unsolicited $75,000 gift to the Headmaster’s Student Assistance Fund from the estate of John “Jack” Beebe ’60, former Chief Advancement Officer Mark Dini was elated. Although after Jack left SJS he was not actively engaged with the SJS community, he clearly stayed connected to his classmates and the School.

The three Beebe brothers came to St. John’s together in the fall of 1955, each just a grade apart. Jack ’60, Roger ’59, and Ward ’58 grew up in what is now Bunker Hill Village, then considered a rural suburb far west of Houston in the 1950s. Spring Branch ISD at the time was still a relatively rural district, and their father wanted a more established educational experience for his children. Younger sister Carol ’62 joined her brothers at St. John’s in 1957.

Roger recalls that Jack truly enjoyed his experience at St. John’s. He immediately wove himself into the fabric of the community. He lettered in football, played basketball and ran track, sang in the Choir and the Glee Club,
and participated in dramatics and stage crew. Meanwhile, he did very well in his studies and won some awards. Following St. John’s, Jack went on to Williams College, majoring in Economics. A short stint at The University of Texas to receive his Masters in Industrial Engineering brought him back to Texas briefly. But then he made California his permanent home, teaching at California Polytechnic State University and Stanford, where he received a PhD in Economics in 1976. After that, he began his illustrious career with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in the research department. He became Senior Vice President and Director of Research, and he spent the rest of his career at the “Fed.”

In his personal life, Jack was an outdoorsman at heart. He loved nature, hiking, and traveling. As a man of many passions, Jack’s estate gifts reflected his varied interests. After making specific gifts to his family in his will, he left the bulk of his estate to a California land conservation trust, Williams College, and St. John’s.

Roger, an estate attorney himself, helped Jack in the final stages of his estate planning. By the time Roger became involved, Jack had already named St. John’s as a beneficiary. Though they never directly discussed
Jack’s motivations for this gift, Roger speculates that Jack’s reasons were simple: “because he was grateful”.

According to Roger, “St. John’s helped prepare us, taught us how to study, and helped us to get into the mindset to truly learn. Without St. John’s, it is very possible that none of us Beebe children would have been accepted into the colleges we attended. St. John’s has a reputation for producing great students with enhanced capabilities and opportunities. Jack recognized this.”

The designation of Jack’s gift to the Headmaster’s Student Assistance Fund was a perfect match for him. As Roger said, “Jack loved being at St. John’s, and he would have wanted his gift to help make a difference in someone else’s life there.”
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